Veeam Vanguard nominations for 2019 are now open!

Source: Veeam

As 2018 comes to a close, we are proud to have completed the fourth year of the Veeam Vanguard Program. The Veeam Vanguard Program is Veeam’s global, top-level influencer program. Each Vanguard is nominated (either by themselves or others) and selected by the Veeam Product Strategy team. There are Vanguards of all types and all backgrounds — what will the 2019 program have in store?

Vanguard_logo_2017

You can nominate yourself or someone you know for the Veeam Vanguard Program for 2019.

Nominations close on January 2nd, 2019.

We have grown the program over the years. At Veeam, we have added different technologies; and new influencers have an opportunity to be discovered. The Vanguards have unparalleled external access to Veeam initiatives, product updates, betas, incredible swag and more. One of the highlights of the annual program is the Veeam Vanguard Summit. This year, it was held in Prague and we hosted over 40 Vanguards for a week of technology and community fun.

Veeam-Vanguard-Summit

One of the best ways to describe the Veeam Vanguard Program can come right from the Vanguards themselves.

Veeam-Vanguard-commentators

Paul Stringfellow, UK:

“As a new member of the Vanguard program in 2018, it’s been a great pleasure to work with such a diverse group of people. It’s a truly global group big enough to support many different experiences, skill sets and opinions, while small enough to be a group that can get together to share ideas, technology developments and strategies. A fantastic group of people who it’s been a true pleasure to get to know this year. Veeam should be truly proud of the program they have built and the tremendous team who support it. Each one is a fine ambassador for their company.”

Dave and Kristal Kawula, Canada:

“The Veeam Vanguard Program is hands down one of the most diverse community programs in the industry. Microsoft, VMware, Amazon, Dell, HPE, Cisco and other technology professionals all in one room. Simply put, the Veeam Vanguard Program is awesome! “

Florian Raack, Germany:

“I always thought accelerating in a fast car was fun, but the acceleration of my skills in the Veeam Vanguard program surpasses this by far. I’ve been on board this unique community program for two years now and I don’t regret a single minute. Besides deep insights into the Veeam product world and co-determination of some portfolio decisions, it just feels good to have a group of the world’s best IT experts behind me. Besides the pure Veeam product knowledge, I take the experience of the other Vanguards with me for my daily work. The whole thing is refined with first-class swag.”

Didier Van Hoye, Belgium:

“The diversity in both the depth and breadth in skill sets, IT environments and background combined with the passion and drive of the Veeam Vanguards is impressive. This group of people experiences, deals and works with a huge variety of challenges that need to be addressed while protecting the data and services of their employers and/or customers. They share this cumulative knowledge freely with the global community for the benefit of all. The Veeam Vanguard program shows Veeam’s appreciation for these community efforts while supporting it. Veeam in return gets insights in real live ecosystems as well as open and honest feedback that they need to improve and evolve.”

These are just a few views of the program, and everyone experiences the Vanguard program in their own way. If you like what you are seeing, it’s natural to have a few questions on this type of program, so I’ve created a few Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

Who can apply to be a Vanguard?

Anyone active in a technology community.

Can Veeam employees be awarded Vanguard status?

No, but employees can nominate persons for consideration. Former Veeam employees who have been separated for more than 1 year are eligible for nomination.

What criteria are needed to be awarded Vanguard status?

The criteria are decided by our team that looks across communities to find the persons who embody our brand the best.

How will nominees be notified of the result?

The Product Strategy team (my staff and I) are going to review the nominations after the registration closes, and then we will deliberate the results. Look for communication either way after that.

If you see a Vanguard in the wild, let us know via nominations or nominate yourself. Nominations will close on January 2nd, 2019!

The post Veeam Vanguard nominations for 2019 are now open! appeared first on Veeam Software Official Blog.


Veeam Vanguard nominations for 2019 are now open!

Migration is never fun – Backups are no exception

Source: Veeam

One of the interesting things I’ve seen over the years is people switching backup products. Additionally, it is reasonable to say that the average organization has more than one backup product. At Veeam, we’ve seen this over time as organizations started with our solutions. This was especially the case before Veeam had any solutions for the non-virtualized (physical server and workstation device) space. Especially in the early days of Veeam, effectively 100% of business was displacing other products — or sitting next to them for workloads where Veeam would suit the client’s needs better.

Migration-VDP

The question of migration is something that should be discussed, as it is not necessarily easy. It reminds me of personal collections of media such as music or movies. For movies, I have VHS tapes, DVDs and DVR recordings, and use them each differently. For music, I have CDs, MP3s and streaming services — used differently again. Backup data is, in a way, similar. This means that the work to change has to be worth the benefit.

There are many reasons people migrate to a new backup product. This can be due to a product being too complicated or error-prone, too costly, or a product discontinued (current example is VMware vSphere Data Protection). Even at Veeam we’ve deprecated products over the years. In my time here at Veeam, I’ve observed that backup products in the industry come, change and go. Further, almost all of Veeam’s most strategic partners have at least one backup product — yet we forge a path built on joint value, strong capabilities and broad platform support.

When the migration topic comes up, it is very important to have a clear understanding about what happens if a solution no longer fits the needs of the organization. As stated above, this can be because a product exits the market, drops support for a key platform or simply isn’t meeting expectations. How can the backup data over time be trusted to still meet any requirements that may arise? This is an important forethought that should be raised in any migration scenario. This means that the time to think about what migration from a product would look like, actually should occur before that solution is ever deployed.

Veeam takes this topic seriously, and the ability to handle this is built into the backup data. My colleagues and I on the Veeam Product Strategy Team have casually referred to Veeam backups being “self-describing data.” This means that you open it up (which can be done easily) and you can clearly see what it is. One way to realize this is the fact that Veeam backup products have an extract utility available. The extract utility is very helpful to recover data from the command line, which is a good use case if an organization is no longer a Veeam client (but we all know that won’t be the case!). Here is a blog by Vanguard Andreas Lesslhumer on this little-known tool.

Why do I bring up the extract utility when it comes to switching backup products? Because it hits on something that I have taken very seriously of late. I call it Absolute Portability. This is a very significant topic in a world where organizations passionately want to avoid lock-in. Take the example I mentioned before of VMware vSphere Data Protection going end-of-life, Veeam Vanguard Andrea Mauro highlights how they can migrate to a new solution; but chances are that will be a different experience. Lock-in can occur in many ways, and organizations want to avoid lock-in. This can be a cloud lock-in, a storage device lock-in, or a services lock-in. Veeam is completely against lock-ins, and arguably so agnostic that it makes it hard to make a specific recommendation sometimes!

I want to underscore the ability to move data — in, out and around — as organizations see fit. For organizations who choose Veeam, there are great capabilities to keep data available.

So, why move? Because expanded capabilities will give organizations what they need.

The post Migration is never fun – Backups are no exception appeared first on Veeam Software Official Blog.


Migration is never fun – Backups are no exception

Windows Server 2019 and what we need to do now: Migrate and Upgrade!

Source: Veeam

IT pros around the world were happy to hear that Windows Server 2019 is now generally available and since there have been some changes to the release. This is a huge milestone, and I would like to offer congratulations to the Microsoft team for launching the latest release of this amazing platform as a big highlight of Microsoft Ignite.

As important as this new operating system is now, there is an important subtle point that I think needs to be raised now (and don’t worry – Veeam can help). This is the fact that both SQL Server 2008 R2 and Windows Server 2008 R2 will soon have extended support ending. This can be a significant topic to tackle as many organizations have applications deployed on these systems.

What is the right thing to do today to prepare for leveraging Windows Server 2019? I’m convinced there is no single answer on the best way to address these systems; rather the right approach is to identify options that are suitable for each workload. This may also match some questions you may have. Should I move the workload to Azure? How do I safely upgrade my domain functional level? Should I use Azure SQL? Should I take physical Windows Server 2008 R2 systems and virtualize them or move to Azure? Should I migrate to the latest Hyper-V platform? What do I do if I don’t have the source code? These are all indeed natural questions to have now.

These are questions we need to ask today to move to Windows Server 2019, but how do we get there without any surprises? Let me re-introduce you to the Veeam DataLab. This technology was first launched by Veeam in 2010 and has evolved in every release and update since. Today, this technology is just what many organizations need to safely perform tests in an isolated environment to ensure that there are no surprises in production. The figure below shows a data lab:

Let’s deconstruct this a bit first. An application group is an application you care about — and it can include multiple VMs. The proxy appliance isolates the DataLab from the production network yet reproduces the IP space in the private network without interference via a masquerade IP address. With this configuration, the DataLab allows Veeam users to test changes to systems without risk to production. This can include upgrading to Windows Server 2019, changing database versions, and more. Over the next weeks and month or so, I’ll be writing a more comprehensive document in whitepaper format that will take you through the process of setting up a DataLab and doing specific task-like upgrading to Windows Server 2019 or a newer version of SQL Server as well as migrating to Azure.

Another key technology where Veeam can help is the ability to restore Veeam backups to Microsoft Azure. This technology has been available for a long while and is now built into Veeam Backup & Replication. This is a great way to get workloads into Azure with ease starting from a Veeam backup. Additionally, you can easily test other changes to Windows and SQL Server with this process — put it into an Azure test environment to test the migration process, connectivity and more. If that’s a success, repeat the process as part of a planned migration to Azure. This cloud mobility technique is very powerful and is shown below for Azure:

Why Azure?

This is because Microsoft announced that Extended Security Updates will be available for FREE in Azure for Windows server 2008 R2 for an additional three years after the end of the support deadline. Customers can rehost these workloads to Azure with no application code changes, giving them more time to plan for their future upgrades. Read more here.

What also is great about moving workloads to Azure is that this applies to almost anything that Veeam can back up. Windows Servers, Linux Agents, vSphere VMs, Hyper-V VMs and more!

Migrating to the latest platforms are a great way to stay in a supported configuration for critical applications in the data center. The difference is being able to do the migration without any surprises and with complete confidence. This is where Veeam’s DataLabs and Veeam Recovery to Microsoft Azure can work in conjunction to provide you a seamless experience in migrating to the latest SQL and Windows Server platforms.

Have you started testing Windows Server 2019? How many Windows Server 2008 R2 and SQL Server 2008 systems do you have? Let’s get DataLabbing!

The post Windows Server 2019 and what we need to do now: Migrate and Upgrade! appeared first on Veeam Software Official Blog.


Windows Server 2019 and what we need to do now: Migrate and Upgrade!

Daily administration meets software-defined storage with the Scale-Out Backup Repository

Source: Veeam

This post is admittedly long overdue. The Scale-Out Backup Repository (SOBR) is a very powerful management technology that has been in Veeam Backup & Replication since v9, but I recently had a situation in our lab that made me remember how powerful this technology is, and I thought it appropriate to re-introduce this feature.

The situation was that I needed to remove a backup repository and I didn’t want to lose any backup data or restore points. It’s easy to do this with the SOBR, but there is so much more to it. Let’s re-introduce the SOBR!

What is the SOBR?

The SOBR is a logical collection of individual backup repositories (where backups go from a storage perspective) in one pool. The underlying repositories are referred to as extents and the parent SOBR is a collection of all the extents and will summarize their capacity. A picture helps describe this, so let’s look at the figure below:

This SOBR is a collection of six extents of different types holding backups from Veeam Agents, VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V and Nutanix AHV.

Why have this technology?

There are many reasons why the SOBR can add benefits to how organizations manage data in their environment. A few of the use cases that are available right now (and note – there will be more capabilities coming later this year) include:

  • The ability to easily migrate underlying backup repositories in and out of the SOBR
  • Data locality selection to keep backup files together within a job
  • Performance policy to keep types of backup files on appropriately performing storage resources
  • Invoke maintenance mode and evacuate extents as underlying repository needs change

These are just a few ways that the SOBR can solve real challenges in the data center for the backup infrastructure. If you have not, please check out the SOBR pages in Veeam Help Center. There you can find nearly 20 sub-pages on how the SOBR can be administered and its capabilities.

What does the SOBR do?

Like a regular repository, the SOBR holds backup data. The real benefits come when there need to be changes to the backup infrastructure. This will save administrators a lot of work in the following situations:

  • A backup repository needs to be offline for maintenance
  • A backup repository needs to be removed (such as being end-of-life or lease is up)
  • Data needs to be evacuated from a backup repository
  • Performance design can be improved

The performance design is something that can really be intriguing for those who have a mix of different storage systems. Some SOBR implementations will put incremental backups on a NAS or low-end SAN device and full backups on a deduplication appliance. This is an attractive arrangement as the performance profile of each of these types of backups files is in alignment with the storage capabilities of those extents.

Taking a backup repository offline is a very easy step. In the figure below, I have a SOBR with three extents: two local storage resources and one NAS device. The one local storage resource is on the C: drive — which is not optimal for backup placement. I can simply right-click and put this extent into maintenance mode.

Once a repository is in maintenance mode, an important fact must be considered: backups can still run. In this example, there are two other extents that are ready to receive backup jobs. This is a very powerful characteristic as we realize changes need to be made to the backup infrastructure over time, but we don’t want to be in a situation where we’re missing restore points to do such. This is one of the key deliverables that the SOBR has brought to Veeam installations from the beginning.

The extent can then have the backups evacuated, which will place the data on the remaining extents.

Once those backups are evacuated, the extent that is in maintenance mode can be removed from the configuration of the SOBR (and the remaining extents left in place) with ease.

What about smaller environments, can the SOBR help here also?

Truth be told, this was one of the first use cases of the SOBR! As the story is told to me, one of the first ideas came for the scenario where an organization had one backup repository. How could they move backup job configuration and data to a new backup repository with ease? This challenge was made easy with the SOBR.

I refer to this as a “Single-Instance SOBR” or basically a SOBR with one extent. The thought is, let’s have the SOBR defined but backed by only one extent. In this way, when the time arrives that the backup storage needs to be replaced or can’t be scaled to the size needed, an additional extent is added and then the first repository is placed into maintenance mode, backups evacuated, then removed from the SOBR configuration. Just like that — a new backup storage resource is in place without missing a single backup job. The figure below logically shows a Single-Instance SOBR:

In this configuration, the sole repository that is defined in the SOBR could be replaced by adding another extent with ease through the following steps (the unchanged part of the infrastructure made gray for simplicity):

The Scale-Out Backup Repository and you

The beautiful thing here is that we can let the world of day-to-day backup infrastructure administration leverage software-defined capabilities for backup storage. The management of the backup storage through this mechanism makes it very simple to make changes to the underlying storage while having absolute portability of the critical backup data.

Additionally, later this year we will be releasing more capabilities for the SOBR that will further drive the benefits needed today: portability, data management and new locations.

Are you using the SOBR? If so, how do you have it configured? Share your comments below.

The post Daily administration meets software-defined storage with the Scale-Out Backup Repository appeared first on Veeam Software Official Blog.


Daily administration meets software-defined storage with the Scale-Out Backup Repository

SysAdmin Day 2018: Are we administering systems like it is 2018?

Source: Veeam

Days of appreciation in the workplace are an interesting event. Whether it’s Administrative Professional’s Day, Boss’s Day, Day of the Programmer, or others I may have missed (and many in other fields, such as medicine), they are a way to offer thanks for professions that are at times hard. However, I challenge the acknowledgement of a profession like system administration comes with a big caveat: Has this process been innovated for 2018?

SysAdmin Day started (it can be traced to the year 2000) as a great way to give thanks to the professionals in the mix for the hard work that goes along with being a system administrator. Take this into context at the beginning of this century however. Things were harder then. There were more manual IT tasks, more equipment and less automation. This was an important time when the IT space was ripe for innovation, and platforms such as virtualization and the cloud were strictly a meteorological term.

The challenge I pose for today is to ask if systems are indeed being administered like it’s 2018. Are SysAdmins seeking investments (not just with products, but even personal skills) in automation? Are SysAdmins looking to have visibility into all of their data? Are SysAdmins able to have the mobility for workloads that they need today? These are important questions today that are in line with the spirit of the SysAdmin day; but I challenge the skills of a SysAdmin are dependent on the capabilities of the modern era.

Each of those questions are important in today’s IT landscape. The mobility aspect is one that I am very passionate about, and it can avoid problems later. I’ll discuss this one in a bit more detail. When a SysAdmin mentions mobility, what comes to mind? Answers could range from moving an application to a new piece of hardware, doing an upgrade to a new version, or even changing location of an application to a higher performing network or site. I challenge that today’s mobility expectation is that applications can be mobile to the best platforms. This includes the cloud, a hypervisor platform such as Hyper-V, vSphere or Acropolis, or even a next-generation technology for the application. SysAdmins need to be careful to not create traps in their IT practice to have obsolete components in the mix.

One common example is to have obsolete applications on obsolete hardware. I occasionally have spoken to organizations who have obsolete applications on obsolete operating systems which require obsolete hardware. This really strikes me as a bad practice point today. I’m usually talking to these organizations about options related to backup and Availability technologies, however, we reach a stopping point with some of the obsolete museum pieces that are still critical to their operation. I commonly have to advise that organizations have bigger problems than backup when these situations arise. There can be a bigger business issue if the organization is dependent on something that can’t be made available due to obsolete technologies.

These are just a few examples, but the life of the SysAdmin is a tough job. It always has been, and always will be. There is a debate on whether there even will be a SysAdmin job in the near future due to newer technologies (such as the cloud). I challenge that there will be, but only if the SysAdmins of today adapt to current conditions and deliver the best service with the best technologies that don’t put their organizations at risk. For those SysAdmins out there — great job, keep up the good work and always be on the lookout for what you can do better next time, for the next project and for whatever comes up tomorrow.

The post SysAdmin Day 2018: Are we administering systems like it is 2018? appeared first on Veeam Software Official Blog.


SysAdmin Day 2018: Are we administering systems like it is 2018?

Veeam Availability Suite 9.5 Update 3a is now available!

Source: Veeam

Platform support is a priority at Veeam. Whether that is the latest operating systems, new storage systems or updated hypervisors, we take platform support seriously. Since Veeam Backup & Replication 9.5 Update 3 has been released, a number of ecosystem changes have warranted an update ahead of the upcoming set of Veeam capabilities (due later this year) showcased at VeeamON. A larger update is coming soon, which is why we are referring to this release as Update 3a opposed to Update 4 (which is planned for later in the year). The main capabilities in this release are the new platforms supported as well as over 20 minor enhancements detailed in the KB article.

Update 3a will bring support for the latest VMware and Microsoft platforms that organizations need from Veeam. The list of new platforms supported by Veeam Backup & Replication are:

  • VMware vSphere 6.7
  • VMware vCloud Director 9.1
  • Preliminary support for VMware vSphere 6.5 U2  (See more below)
  • Microsoft Windows Server 1803
  • Microsoft Windows Hyper-V Server 1803
  • Microsoft Windows 10 April 2018 Update

There are supplemental platforms also supported in this update:

  • VMware Cloud on AWS version 1.3
  • Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 1801

This update is important as it means Veeam Backup & Replication will do the following:

  1. Install Veeam Backup & Replication 9.5 Update 3a on the new Windows operating systems
  2. Install components (such as proxies, repositories, etc.) on the new Windows operating systems
  3. Perform backup and replication jobs from the new vSphere platforms and the Hyper-V roles in the Microsoft Windows Server 1803 operating system

One different notation is the “Preliminary” support for VMware vSphere 6.5 Update 2. Those of you who have been following the weekly forum digest emails have additional insights to the many milestones that had to be achieved to get to this point. This is very important as with a product providing backup in the data center, we cannot take any risk of a false sense of security. These emails are also where you can get the latest from R&D on all the catch points that may arise; namely what we are seeing with vSphere 6.5 Update 2. Support for this release will likely come in an update to 6.5 Update 2 itself. The support statement is clarified well in this forum post, basically stating as it is there is a known issue a critical API for our use failing under load.

To remain on the cutting edge, many organizations like to maintain aggressive policies on upgrading to the latest vSphere, vCloud Director, Windows 10 and Windows Server releases; and ensuring that these platforms are supported for backup should be an important consideration. This is yet another reason why Veeam continues to work hard to deliver updated platform support as soon as possible. As you plan your next moves for your business, you can know that the platform support needed to keep those applications, systems and data available will be there with Veeam.

Go ahead and download Veeam Backup & Replication 9.5 Update 3a!

The post Veeam Availability Suite 9.5 Update 3a is now available! appeared first on Veeam Software Official Blog.


Veeam Availability Suite 9.5 Update 3a is now available!

Last chance to nominate for Veeam Innovation Awards

Source: Veeam

When the inaugural Veeam Innovation Awards (VIA) were launched, we as a company were excited to see what may come as a result. We will announce the winners at VeeamON in Chicago, but there is something bigger going on here.

One of the things that makes Veeam different is its partners. So much so, that I like to say that partnerships are in Veeam’s DNA. And it’s true. Everything we do revolves around partners. Whether the partner is in the sales channel, a service provider, an alliance partner, a distributor, or a services or integration partner; it’s clear: Veeam is all-in with partners. When you look at it this way, it’s pretty clear to see what I mean by Veeam has partnership in its DNA! That’s why partners and solutions from our partners made available by Veeam are candidates for the award.

What will the Veeam Innovation Awards bring in 2018? That’s actually part of the mystique — we don’t know! We’ve seen some incredible entries, nominations from customers and partners, as well as some keen observations from the Veeam team on what is being done in the field.

If you haven’t submitted your nominations yet, do so now. Nominations are open only until April 30, and the winners will be announced at VeeamON. Who knows, you may win, nominate a winner, or even discover a new use case that solves an Availability need you may have!

The post Last chance to nominate for Veeam Innovation Awards appeared first on Veeam Software Official Blog.

Last chance to nominate for Veeam Innovation Awards

How to protect both Microsoft Office 365 and Exchange mailboxes

Source: Veeam

One of the things I really like about new technologies today is when big transitions are truly seamless. Arguably the most common example is what is happening with Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft Office 365. A few years ago, Microsoft Office 365 became an attractive option for a new platform for one of the most critical sets of applications for effectively every organization. It is also a relatively seamless transition as many of the same consumption mechanisms are maintained: Outlook, Web Access, Mobile, etc.

However, one interesting characteristic is unique to this Software as a Service (SaaS) use case: Organizations take some time to do it. I can recount many conversations around this as Veeam announced, then launched and then enhanced our product in this space: Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365. The conversations span many years — along with the migrations. When I visit a customer at first, they’ll say they are “piloting” Microsoft Office 365 with a few users such as the IT staff. Then next year, I visit and they’ll report they are “about 50% complete” with migrations. On the third year, I’d get information from the same organization that they are “90% migrated.” While every implementation and experience is different — it is possible that many stories are similar.

One thing that I personally love about Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 is that Veeam can support you through this process. This is due to one specific capability that Veeam provides: The ability to add an on-premises Exchange organization to Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365. Even if you are just starting your Office 365 journey, with all data on-premises, Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 can be leveraged immediately. This is very powerful as it can completely support the organization through the migration. The figure below shows a Hybrid organization using both on-premises Exchange and Microsoft Office 365:

One of the key benefits presented by this configuration is that the organization can have the same configuration and backup solution for effectively a hybrid SaaS deployment. Hybrid in that the result is that this business application (mail and calendaring service) is both on-premises and in the SaaS space. Having the consistent approach with Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 is a good practice in a backup policy to ensure that no mailboxes are omitted from backup between many products during an organization’s migration process. This unified approach also permits migration capabilities between Office 365 and on-premises Exchange.

Likely, the most telling benefit of the unified approach is the restore. Restores with Veeam have always been easy, and Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 is no exception. The restores are driven with Veeam Explorer for Microsoft Exchange, which is the same engine used for on-premises Exchange backups and is shown below:

This restore wizard starts the intuitive process to restore data back to either Office 365 or on-premises Exchange with ease. Exports are also supported — so building a PST file or a list of objects can also be done.

Just like having the right restore for any situation, having the right backup for any configuration is a strong capability of Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365. This is the type of approach that is needed today for the demands on critical systems and data.  If you haven’t played with Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365, download a trial now — or our NFR program that permits up to 10 user mailboxes to be backed up for free. Are you operating a hybrid Exchange and Office 365 deployment? Does Veeam’s ability to protect both in a consistent manner appeal to you? Share your comments below.

See more

The post How to protect both Microsoft Office 365 and Exchange mailboxes appeared first on Veeam Software Official Blog.

How to protect both Microsoft Office 365 and Exchange mailboxes

Getting started with Veeam Explorer for Microsoft SQL Server

Source: Veeam

Believe it or not, I used to work a lot with Microsoft SQL Server. While I did not call myself a database administrator (DBA), I did know my way around a database or two. Since I’ve been at Veeam, I have always enjoyed telling the Veeam story around using SQL Server as a critical application that needs the best Availability options.

That’s why I took particular interest in Veeam Explorer for Microsoft SQL Server that came in Veeam Backup & Replication. Veeam Explorer for Microsoft SQL Server allows application-specific restores of SQL databases, and also contents of tables, objects such as stored procedures, views and more. Additionally, you can also restore the databases to a specific transaction.

This is a great combination of functionality from the established application-aware image processing with a dedicated tool for database restores in Veeam Explorer for Microsoft SQL Server. Additionally, Veeam Backup & Replication and the Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows also provide an image backup of the entire system.

For those who are not a DBA, sometimes dealing with low-level SQL Server topics can be a bit overwhelming. To help this process, I created a few scripts to help individuals learn this type of interaction with SQL Server. I put three (and a deleted script) up on the Veeam Github site. To use this script, only an S: drive is needed (the path can be changed) to create the sample database and put in a SQL Server Agent job to automatically run a few stored procedures that will insert and delete random data. This creates a database called SQLGREENDREAM.

After running the three scripts to create the database, implement the random number function and set the schedule to create the random data (2 records) and delete 1 record. The SQL Server Transaction Log Backup will show the new database being backed up after the next incremental backup:

Veeam Explorer for Microsoft SQL Server

Once the interval of the SQL Server Agent job runs (12 minutes in the GitHub script) and the Veeam Backup Job interval passes, the most selective restore point option can be selected in Veeam Explorer for Microsoft SQL Server. This selective option, to restore to a specific transaction, is shown in the figure below:

Veeam Explorer for Microsoft SQL Server

Once the interval of the SQL Server Agent job runs (12 minutes in the GitHub script) and the Veeam Backup copy interval process through a time when the test data has been run, the restore to a specific transaction option can be visible to the controlled scripting for the SQLGREENDREAM database in the GitHub repository. Then you can see the records in question being just as scripted, 2 records added then one record deleted. Those entries are done by the SQL Server Agent:

Veeam Explorer for Microsoft SQL Server

From there, the restores can be done with confidence to see how the SQL databases are restored with Veeam. With the sample scripts in the GitHub repository, one can become more comfortable with these restore situations when venturing out of normal comfort zones! If you are using Veeam Backup Free Edition and the SQL Server is a VM being backed up, you can still use Veeam Explorer for Microsoft SQL Server to restore the database to the time of the image-based backup; just no transaction rollback. You can use the NFR program for a fully functional installation also.

Have you used Veeam Explorer for Microsoft SQL Server to restore to a transaction? How did it go? Share your comments below.

The post Getting started with Veeam Explorer for Microsoft SQL Server appeared first on Veeam Software Official Blog.

Getting started with Veeam Explorer for Microsoft SQL Server

Veeam Management Pack for System Center v8 Update 5: New Alerting and Reporting for the Enterprise!

Source: Veeam

Veeam Management Pack (MP) for System Center has always been a great way for enterprises to clearly connect mission-critical applications to the vital systems they run on down to the virtualization and hardware levels. This app-to-metal visibility is truly a requirement in enterprises today, and for organizations who have implemented Microsoft System Center, you have a great opportunity with the Veeam MP. Today, the Veeam MP v8 Update 5 is now Available!

Veeam MP

What’s new in Veeam MP?

There are many new things in Veeam MP v8 Update 5. This builds off of Update 4 last year. Here is a quick rundown of what’s new in this update, followed by a longer explanation in subsequent sections:

  • Built-in monitoring for Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows
  • Morning Coffee Dashboard for at-a-glance, real-time health status of your Veeam backup environments
  • Monitoring for VMware Cloud on Amazon Web Services (AWS)
  • Additional VMware vSAN & vCenter Alarms

The key takeaway here is that critical new platforms can be monitored now with the Veeam MP.

Built-in monitoring for Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows

Last year, when Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows was updated to version 2.1, it had integration with Veeam Backup & Replication for management of the deployment of the Windows Agent as well as job configuration. With Veeam MP v8 Update 5, this capability is extended into System Center and allows real-time alerts of your Veeam backup jobs and policies for systems where the System Center Agent is installed. In addition to monitoring the Veeam backup status of these agents (usually physical servers), having the System Center Agent on these systems will combine system-wide event and performance data. Couple this with applications that System Center is aware of (like Exchange, SQL Server, SharePoint and many more), and there is a visibility benefit that combines the run-state of a system, enterprise applications and the Availability strategy with Veeam backup products. This is in addition to the ability to manage VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V virtualized infrastructures, and their backups, in Veeam MP.

At-a-glance, real-time health status of your Veeam backup environments

One of the most popular capabilities of Veeam MP are the Morning Coffee Dashboards for VMware and Hyper-V environments. In Veeam MP v8 Update 5, we added a Morning Coffee Dashboard for Veeam Backup & Replication, to give an at-a-glance, real-time health status of the backup infrastructure components. This is very important for larger Veeam Backup & Replication installations, as there may be many Veeam Backup Servers, sites, backup jobs, proxies, different types of repositories, use of Scale-out Backup Repositories and now the Veeam Agents. This new dashboard in the Operations Manager console complements the existing Veeam Morning Coffee Dashboards already available in Microsoft Operations Management Suite (OMS) which can extend Veeam MP visibility beyond the on-premises consoles to the cloud-based Microsoft OMS view. This dashboard can also be scoped for each data center’s backup infrastructure, which may be a more relevant view due to different characteristics in each. The figure below is a sample Morning Coffee Dashboard for Veeam Backup & Replication, which shows how easy it is to read:

Veeam MP

Monitoring for VMware Cloud on Amazon Web Services (AWS)

One of the new technologies that VMware has brought to market is the VMware Cloud on AWS. This new offering allows organizations to have a full vSphere environment running in AWS. The best part is that organizations have the complete control they are accustomed to on-premises with a VMware vSphere infrastructure, yet very close to other Amazon Web Services offering. Since Veeam Backup & Replication 9.5 Update 3, which came out last month, organizations have been able to back up workloads running in VMware Cloud on AWS. Now, with Veeam MP v8 Update 5, organizations can have a consistent view of the clusters running on-premises with the infrastructure running in VMware Cloud on AWS. Coupled with the backup capability, the management opportunity here is a complete solution for organizations wanting to run workloads on VMware Cloud on AWS.

VMware vSAN & vCenter Alarms

Another new VMware technology that Veeam MP can provide monitoring for is VMware vSAN. VMware vSAN is a great storage technology (on a personal note, we’re using it in our lab and I’m falling in love with it). With this new storage technology, there are many new alarms that enterprises will need to be aware of to keep vSAN running as expected, including automated vSAN health, configuration, and hardware compatibility checks. And additional to the new vSAN alarms, there are new Veeam MP monitors tracking critical vCenter services, such as the Update Manager service and the PSC (Platform Services Controller).

Like all other capabilities in the Veeam MP, these new alarm monitors come with KB articles so that Veeam MP operators can quickly get easy-to-read information, even if they are not an expert in VMware vSphere or vSAN. This can help organizations solve issues correctly and quickly by having the right information at the right time.

By the way, if you didn’t know, Veeam Backup & Replication supports backup from vSAN with leading awareness for data locality, and we have done this for almost 4 years now. This is in addition to full support for VMware’s Storage Policy-Based Management (SPBM). Combining the best, most aware backup with the best management capabilities is the perfect recipe for the best vSAN experience.

Veeam MP v8 U5: More of what you need for visibility and management

For organizations using System Center, this is a critical set of new capabilities and there is no better time than now to plan an upgrade to Veeam MP v8 Update 5. Having this level of visibility, app-to-metal, is what organizations need to meet their SLAs and the needs of their stakeholders. See more details in the KB of what’s new.

The post Veeam Management Pack for System Center v8 Update 5: New Alerting and Reporting for the Enterprise! appeared first on Veeam Software Official Blog.

Veeam Management Pack for System Center v8 Update 5: New Alerting and Reporting for the Enterprise!